Pictures of the Southampton Azure balloon


Safe landing

Safe landing

The safe recovery of the payload shows that the technique of using a smartphone to provide real-time telemetry can be applied in upper atmophere experiments. According to Andras Sobester, research fellow at University of Southampton, there are not many options for launching sensors into the upper atmosphere. The helium balloon is the cheapest approach. "A fully manned research aircraft costs £10,000 per hour," he said.


Southampton University has successfully recovered instrumentation launched into the stratosphere using a high altitude balloon. An HTC smartphone running a Windows Phone 7 app was used to monitor and update tracking information for the balloon via the Microsoft Azure cloud as it ascended to over 60,000 feet. The experiment paves the way to using relatively low cost helium balloons as launch vehicles for instruments that are able to take measurements and samples from the upper atmosphere.
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